Record 18.5 Million Tourists Visit Croatia in 2017
A total of 18.5 million tourists visited Croatia in 2017, the most ever in a single year in the nation’s history, Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli told a press conference in Zagreb today. The record number of tourists to visit Croatia in 2017 was 13% more than the year previous. The 18.5 million tourists generated 102 million overnight stays, which was 12% more than in 2016. Revenues were also up on 2016, with around 11 billion euros forecast to be generated from tourism in 2017. The most-visited region in Croatia by tourists from January – December 2017 was Istria (28 million overnights), followed by the Split-Dalmatia County (19 million overnights) and Kvarner (18.6 million). Next was Zadar County (13.7 million), followed by Dubrovnik-Neretva (8.5 million), Sibenik-Knin (7.1 million), Lika-Senj (3.2 million) and Zagreb (2.3 million). Once again in 2017, it was the Germans who created the most overnight stays in Croatia (20.7 million), followed by Slovenes (10.1 million), Austrians (7.6 million) Poles (6.3 million) and Czechs (5.4 million). Outside of Europe, the most overnights were created by Americans (1.4 million), followed by Australians (667,000), South Koreans (533,000), Canadians (415,000) and Chinese (237,000). The most popular destinations for overnight stays were Dubrovnik, Rovinj, Poreč, Medulin, and Umag.
Contract to Build Peljesac Bridge Awarded
China Road and Bridge Corporation have won the contract to conduct the first phase of the construction of the Peljesac bridge and access roads, Hrvatske Ceste reported on Friday. The Chinese consortium’s offer of 2.08 billion kuna to build the Peljesac bridge and access roads was cheapest out of the three bids vying for the contract. The other two offers came from Italian-Turkish consortium Astaldi and Ictas (2.55 billion kuna) and Austrian firm Strabag (2.62 billion kuna). According to a report by daily Jutarnji list, China Road and Bridge Corporation will build the bridge in three and a half years, six months ahead of planned schedule. Companies not selected in the bidding process can now appeal today’s decision. The Pelješac Bridge will connect the Croatian peninsula of Pelješac, and through it the southernmost part of Croatia including Dubrovnik, with the Croatian mainland. In June last year, the European Commission signed a finance agreement with the Minister of Regional Development and EU Funds Gabrijela Žalac in Brussels to accept co-financing of the Pelješac Bridge with 357 million euros of EU grants. The Pelješac Bridge will stretch 2.4 km from the southern peninsula of Pelješac to the mainland spanning across the bay in the Adriatic shared by Croatia and Bosnia. China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) is a subsidiary of China Communications Construction Company and mainly engages in highway, bridge, port, tunnel, drainage, and other civil engineering constructions. It is the largest Chinese state-owned enterprise in the infrastructure sector of Africa. The bridge has been planned since 2007 but construction works have been delayed several times.
One of Europe’s Most Modern Parquet Flooring Factories Built in Croatia
One of the most modern parquet flooring factories in Europe is being built in the Croatian town of Đurđevac. Foreign investors have invested millions of euros with hundreds of locals in the area expected to be employed in the next year. “We have invested around 13 million euros in infrastructure, mostly in machinery, but also in the reconstruction of the existing building and warehouse,” Christian Koch, CEO of Bauwerk Boen Group, told Dnevnik.hr. At the end of 2016, Bauwerk Boen Group acquired parquet and wooden panel producer Haas Dom in Đurđevac. With the acquisition, they maintained a long-term supply contract with the state forestry administration of Croatia. The first stage of the investment is the new 1.3 million square meter parquet factory, whilst the aims to double the production capacity in the next phase. The number of employees at the factory is expected to climb to 250, with half of those employed females. The investment will help see Croatian flooring product exported all around the world.
Swiss International Air Lines Announces New Service to Croatia
Switzerland’s national airline, Swiss International Air Lines, will launch flights for the first time to Pula on Croatia’s northern coast. Swiss International Air Lines will operate flights for the first time between Geneva and Pula with flights starting this summer. Swiss International Air Lines will operate one weekly flight to the Croatian city of Pula from Geneva commencing on 23 June 2018. The weekly flight, which will be carried out with the 145-seat Bombardier CS300 aircraft, will be operational until 1 September 2018. “This new route offers Swiss an attractive timetable to meet the needs of the Swiss tourist sector,” Swiss International Air Lines said in a statement to EX-YU Aviation News. Pula Airport recorded passenger growth in 2017 of 36.5% compared to 2016 and is expecting passenger growth of 15% in 2018, welcoming over 600.000 travellers.
Jadrolinija Dropping Weekend Ferry Prices by 20%
Croatia’s largest ferry company, Jadrolinija will lower ticket prices by 20% out of season after accepting a recommendation from the Coastal Transport Agency. The recommendation was also accepted by Rapska plovidba, which operates ferries to the island of Rab. Ticket prices will be cheaper by 20% from Friday to Sunday outside the main tourist season with the aim to attract more passengers and vehicles to the islands during the off-season. The Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Transport, and Infrastructure of the Republic of Croatia announced yesterday that the new measures will come into effect next week on 19 January and run to 18 March 2018. Tickets on lines operated by Jadrolinija and Rapska plovidba will be 20% cheaper for adults, kids between 3-12, personal vehicles (up to 9 seats), motorbikes, bicycles, and mopeds. Today Jadrolinija, which employs 1,700 people, has a fleet of 50 boats, which operate on 37 lines. The Ministry announced that it will consider the possibility of further implementation after March and will take into account increased ship capacity, utilization and the financial impact of the recommendation, Slobodna Dalmacija reports.